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Book Review Handbook of Organic Reagents in Inorganic Analysis. By Z. Holzbecher L. Divi M. Krl L. cha and F. Vlil. Translated by S

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Microbial Transformationsof NonSteroid Cyclic Compounds.
By K . Kieslich. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1976. 1st
edit., xxii, 1262 pp., 449 formula schemes, 225 tables, bound,
DM 196.--.
The first volume of “Neuere Methoden der praparativen
Organischen Chemie” (edited by W. Foerst) contains a section
on the “Use of Biochemical Oxidation and Reduction for
Preparative Purposes,” in which F. G . Fischer describes the
application of microorganisms in chemical reactions. Since
this publication in the ‘forties’many processes for the microbial
treatment of organic compounds have been developed, so
that Klaus Kieslich has now been able to present a very
comprehensive book. Microbial steroid reactions, which have
been extensively investigated, are not dealt with, since there
have already been summarizing publications on this subject.
After a rather short introduction of eight pages on the
methods and techniques of preparation of organic compounds
with the aid of microorganisms, the possible reactions are
reviewed in chapters on: 1. alicyclic compounds, 2. terpenoids,
3. aromatic compounds, 4. 0-heterocycles, 5. N-heterocycles,
6. alkaloids, 7. two- and three-N heterocycles, 8. S-, 0,s-,
S,N- and other heterocycles, and 9. carbohydrates. The greater
part of the book (826 pages) consists of a tabular presentation
divided as follows: 1. oxidations, 2. reductions, 3. hydrolyses,
4. elimination of water and condensations, 5. degradations,
6. formation of new carbon-carbon or heteroatom bonds,
7. isomerizations and rearrangements. An alphabetical list
of the microorganisms used is appended. The literature is
covered by 1932 references up to 1973/74, with an addendum
up to 1975. In a work of this scope errors and omissions
are practically unavoidable. For example, in the tabulation
part oxidative breakdown of aromatic compounds by bacteria
is said to proceed by way of an epoxide and a trans-dihydrodihydroxy compound, whereas the correct interpretation with
the formation of the cis-compound is given by the author
himself on page 89.
The theme of this book can be classified as “biotechnology”,
a subject that is pursued in English-speaking countries and
especially in Japan in accord with its importance. In West
Germany much ground still has to be made up, and thus
wide distribution of this book is desirable in spite of its high
Franz Lingens [NB 349 IE]
Experirnentelle Einfibrung in Grundlagen und Methoden der
Chemie (Experimental Introduction to the Principles and
Methods of Chemistry). By E. J . Slowinski, W. L. Masterton
and W C. Wolsey. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1976.
1st edit., viii, 327 pp., 18 figs., 7 flow diagrams, 10 SEM
Photographs and 15 tables, paperback, DM 29.80.
The experimental chemistry book follows the trend,
observed in recent years, of departing from the long-practised
concept of overloading the student in his first semesters with
a wealth of reading and experiments.
Here again, then, the selected material is treated by means
of experiments. Several experimental procedures are presented
for each theme, whether from physical, inorganic, or organic
chemistry, and the selection is left to the person in charge
of the class. The procedures are thoroughly worked out and
are backed up by the theory needed for their understanding.
The authors have further attempted, and in the reviewer’s
opinion successfully, to stimulate the student by questions
to a critical appraisal of the apparatus and experiments and,
when necessary, to extending their knowledge by referring
to textbooks. The book takes the student first through the
various possibilities of chemical separations and then treats
the important laws of stoichiometry, calorimetry, and chemical
bonding. Next come experiments on themes involving chemical
equilibria, chemical kinetics, acids and bases, complex chemistry, and electrochemistry. In the remaining 80 pages the principles of qualitative analysis are presented, and here too there
is no dearth of theoretical and practical explanations.
The formats and diagrams by which the student should
evaluate his experimental data are well-chosen.
Thus, the book satisfies the demands that must be made
on a practical chemistry text. It can be recommended without
reservations for all practical work in which students are to
be introduced to the methods and principles of chemistry.
Lothar Knoll [NB 350 IE]
Handbook of Organic Reagents in Inorganic Analysis. By 2.
Holzbecher, L. DiviS, M. Krdl, L. Slicha, and F. MdRl. Translated by S. Kortlj. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York-London 1976. 1st edit., 734 pp., 90 figs., 90 tables, bound,
$ 41.80.
According to the foreword, this book is intended as an
introduction into the theory and practice of organic reagents
on the grounds that up to the present there have been few
monographs other than ones dealing with either of these
aspects alone (which, however, is not true at least of the
German and the Russian languages). However sensibly the
combination is effected, the reader will, according to his standpoint, easily find something to disagree with in one or the
other part. The theory is in part elementary-indeed trivialand much of it seems superfluous. Nevertheless, some sections
are very well written, for example those about absorption
spectra and luminescence. The experimentalist will search in
vain for a specific analytical procedure, though it must be
said that it is in the practical part that the greatest value
of the book will be found.
The book contains six main chapters. Following an introduction (30 pp.) the theoretical aspects are first laid down:
in the second chapter (90 pp.) “Structure and Properties of
Organic Reagents and their Compounds with Metals” the
discussion deals with the nature of bonding in complexes,
stereochemistry, isomerism, absorption spectra, luminescence,
solubility, and structure. The third chapter (60 pp), “Equilibria
of Organic Reagents in Solution” covers thermodynamics,
kinetics, redox reactions, distribution and precipitation equilibria, and masking.
In the practical part, Chapter 4 (100 pp.) entitled “Applications of Organic Reagents in Inorganic Analysis” treats all
the important analytical operations; it contains several very
well written sections, particularly that on chelometric titration
with an extensive table providing the choice of indicators.
Chapter 5, on “Analytical Applications of Organic Reagents”
(200 pp.), is probably the most important part of the book;
in 50 sections and 50 tables arranged according to the periodic
table it presents suitable reagents for each element from hydrogen to platinum together with keyword data for methods
ofdetermination, reaction conditions, range of determinations,
and interferences. This chapter is certainly of great value
to every analyst and for all who work with organic reagents.
Nevertheless, the tabular presentation does not replace a real
set of procedures, and one is thus referred to the original
literature. Here, however, we falter, for the selection of references is incomplete. This, of course, cannot ever be completely
avoided, for the author must be given the right of subjective
choice, but it should never occur, as it does here, that there is
no citation for many of the reagents and methods listed in
the tables. The sixth chapter (100 pp.), “Choice of Reagents
Used in Analytical Chemistry”, contains a collection of the
formulas, names, and most important properties of organic
reagents, and thus forms the requisite supplement to the preceding chapter.
The book is intended for a wide circle of readers and users,
each of whom will find in it something useful and worthwhile.
The student can certainly draw some gain from the very
elementary theoretical chapters; users of organic reagents will
use the practical chapters with success. Certain deficiencies,
however, should not be overlooked.
Fritz Umland [NB 351 IE]
Sensors such as are used in medicine and environmental
surveillance are described, as are controllers and switches,
all with the same clarity noted above. Perhaps more space
could be secured for this part of the book by deleting sections
such as those on electrochemical thermocouples, radiation
dosimeters, and coulometric determination of layer
The book, which construes the term “components” in a
very broad sense, can be recommended both as a review
and as a reference work. The 603 references provided facilitate
entry into the original literature.
Ferdinand u. Sturm [NB 353 IE]
Laborpraxis-Quantitative Analyse. (Laboratory PracticeQuantitative Analysis.) By W Feler and C. Rathe. Verlag
Chemie, GmbH, Weinheim 1976. 1st edit., 128 pp., 21 figs.,
paperback, D M 12.80.
This book deals with gravimetry and mass analysis.
Although the theoretical foundations of these methods are
sometimes treated too skimpily, many general, useful, and
valuable tips are to be found in the practical part. Procedures
for some selected gravimetric determinations are described
in detail, namely individual determinations of iron, nickel,
aluminum, sulfate, and calcium, and separations of iron from
nickel, calcium from magnesium, lead from copper. The massanalytical part contains neutralization volumetric analysis,
precipitation volumetric analysis, complexometry, and the
most important procedure of redox volumetric analysis
(permanganometry, chromatometry, and iodometry). Detailed
experimental procedures supplement the theoretical considerations of these methods. The book is thus of interest
above all to the experimentalist, i. e. the laboratory assistant
or chemical technician, but also to the student in his first
More recent methods, such as precipitation from homogeneous solution or titration with the aid of ion-selective
electrodes, are not described. On the credit side, errors are
considered along with the detailed analytical directions; questions and exercises (with answers) stimulate the reader to
think for himself. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a
number of printing errors.
Siegbert Pantel [NB 352 IE]
Aspects of Organic Photochemistry.By W M . Horspool. Academic Press Inc., Ltd., London 1976. 1st edit., 290 pp., bound,
E 9.50.
According to the Preface, this book was written as an
introduction for undergraduates and graduates facing their
final examination. It is divided into nine chapters: introduction
to the physical principles of photochemistry, experimental
methods, the Woodward-Hoffmann rules, photochemistry of
unsaturated and aromatic compounds, reactions of ketones,
photochemistry of enones, oxidation and reduction reactions
and finally “miscellaneous” reactions.
The main part of the book (about 200 out of its 280 pages)
is devoted to preparative organic photochemistry. The author
has taken great trouble to make the wealth of material easier
to follow by extensive subsectioning; that this has been only
partly successful is due to the involved and often inexact
description of the contents.
The first chapters-“Physical Principles” and “The Woodward-Hoffmann Rules”-are inadequate as an introduction.
Besides very vague statements (e.g. on p. 17, “Thus the molecules in the excited state are considerably more reactive in the
excited state and endeavour to return to the ground state
as rapidly as possible”), the text also contains a large number
of serious errors which must lead to considerable confusion.
One could perhaps use this book together with others when
collecting information on a specific class of reactions ; however,
it cannot be recommended as a beginner’s introduction to the
field of organic photochemistry.
Karl-Heinz Grellniann [NB 354 IE]
Elektrochernische Bauelemente (Electrochemical Components). By A . F . Bogenschiitz and W Krusemark. Verlag
Chemie GmbH, Weinheim 1976. 1st edit., x, 247 pp., 211
figs., 26 tables, bound, DM 145.-.
The coulometer, developed by Faraday in marketable form
as early as 1840, and the electrolytic capacitor, now about
100 years old, are among the components that still hold an
undisputed position in electrochemical engineering. The
authors describe such perfected products but in addition do
not shirk from offering many addenda and ideas for their
development. Here we find the time switch (e.g. sea-water-activated silver/gold cells), the electrolytic information-storage
devices (e.g. metistron and memistor), electrokinetic components (e.g. the solion) and electrochromic displays.
The whole book is easy for the non-expert to read, and
is made easier to understand by the extremely instructive
drawings and circuit diagrams. One would have liked to see
more regular comparison with electronic apparatus against
which these new cells must compete. Wherever ionic mobility
is important for the operation of the apparatus the electronic
elements must win on speed. In addition, chemical material
transfer is reversible only to a limited degree, which has its
effect on the life of the apparatus. A critical assessment of
the prospects of specific developments should be incorporated
in a new edition.
Solid State Photochemistry. A Collection of Papers by G.
M . J . Schmidt and his Collaborators Describing a Symbiotic
Relationship between X-Ray Crystallography and Synthetic
Organic Photochemistry. Edited by D. Ginsburg. Monographs in Modern Chemistry, Vol. 8. Edited by H . F. Ebe/.
Verlag Chemie, Weinheim-New York 1976. 1st edit., viii,
280 pp., bound, DM 86.-.
This book, which appeared in memory of G . M . J . Schmidt
in connection with the fifth anniversary of his death, was
conceived as a report on the current state of organic solid-state
chemistry which is controlled by the topology of the crystal
structure in the sense ofminimal change in the atomic positions,
and which was called topochemistry by Schmidt in his capacity
as its founder. The concept was extended by his student Cohen
in the same sense. The title chosen by the editor is not really
accurate, since Schmidt himself drew heterogeneous gas/crystal
reactions into the range of his considerations and investigations. The greatest part of the book is occupied by reprints
of 31 publications by Schmidt and his students. From these
the preparative possibilities and the limits of the methods
become clear; short passages by D. Ginsburg as editor link
the various texts. The closing articles by M . D. Cohen, J .
D. Dunitz, and G. S. Hammond treat the present, past, and
future of the field. Cohen describes further development of
research in this area at the Weizmann Institute; Dunitz draws
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